Texas Historical Commission


Phase III data recovery investigations at one historic and three prehistoric sites, augmented by additional survey and off-site geological investigations, were conducted at Lake Alan Henry (formerly Justiceburg Reservoir) on the Double Mountain Fork of the Brazos River in Garza and Kent counties, Texas, during the fall and winter of 1990-1991. Descriptive data from this first of three field seasons of data recovery are presented here in anticipation of a final synthetic report that will relate all the investigations to a series of research design hypotheses.

Analysis of surface distributions at 41KT42, a late nineteenth- to early twentieth-century ranch line camp known locally as the Ed Scott Cabin, groups the artifacts into material and functional categories that demonstrate primary and secondary refuse accumulations adjacent to the cabin. The distribution of primary refuse shows kitchen artifacts are spatially distinct from other types that include architectural, firearm, ranching, clothing, and personal items. The primary discard pattern is obfuscated by redistribution attributed to secondary refuse discard.

The uppermost of two superimposed hearths at 41GR484, the Grape Creek Bench Site, is radiocarbon dated to 260 B.P. and yielded charcoal identified as Carya sp. Excavations were halt~d at this Late Prehistoric II site because of extremely low artifact recovery. Geoarcheological investigations demonstrate that most of the site has been destroyed by cutbank erosion associated with the meanderings of Grape Creek.

At 41KT33, the Late Prehistoric I South Sage Creek Site, stone-lined hearth features dated to 1005 B.P. are surrounded by clusters of artifacts. Petrographic analysis of brownware ceramics suggests affiliations with the local Palo Duro Complex and nonlocally with the Pecos River valley. The Gobbler Creek Bridge Site, 4IGR383, spans the late Archaic and Late Prehistoric I periods. Intact· and dispersed stone-lined hearths radiocarbon dated to 1865-1215 B.P. are surrounded by artifact clusters. Both of the sites appear to have been multifunctional campsites, and repeated occupations are likely. Dense concentrations of fire-cracked rocks at these sites may represent secondary refuse disposal. Lithic analysis indicates extensive use of nonlocal materials derived from Cretaceous formations that occur in the Callahan Divide and Edwards Plateau to the south. Freshwater mussels are the only faunal remains recovered from either of these sites. The meat is presumed to have been consumed as food, while the shells sometimes were made into ornaments.

An additional 440 acres of land were surveyed for cultural resources; 360 of these acres were subsequently acquired by the City of Lubbock for use as wildlife mitigation lands. Nine prehistoric archeological sites and one isolated fmd were documented and evaluated for their eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Five of these sites are considered to be ineligible for listing on the National Register, and five are potentially eligible for listing. Avoidance is recommended at these five sites, with testing recommended to determine their National Register eligibility if avoidance is not possible.

Geological investigations provide information about depositional environments in and near the archeological sites. Two soils buried in the Double Mountain Fork floodplain are radiocarbon dated to 8~00 B.P. and 1700-1300 B.P.; fluvial sediments extend as much as 15 m below these soils in portions of the floodplain. An older terrace previously was identified 18 m above the modem river channel. Current work obtained a terminal date of 8690 B.P. from a buried soil that caps this older terrace. Another radiocarbon date of 3320 B.P. was obtained from fill in a gully that is eroded into the older terrace. These dates bracket an erosional episode when the older terrace was heavily dissected. The erosion coincides with the Altithermal, a period believed to have been characterized by a hot and dry climatic regime.

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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